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Episode 511: Paul Simon

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The Muppet Show
Guest Starring Paul Simon
Production Dates May 19-23, 1980
Home Video Best of the Muppet Show
Paulsimon

Paul inspires Gonzo to be a songwriter. Unfortunately, Gonzo writes songs like "For You": "For youuu... I'd wash my hair with stinky glue, I'd fry my legs and eat them too, I'd put a spider in my shoe -- for yoouuuu!" Paul is stunned. Later, Gonzo's chickens run off with Paul, so Gonzo develops a new obsession -- asparagus. But at the end of the episode both the chickens and the asparagus run away when Paul asks for chicken with a side of asparagus.

Songs/Sketches

Notes

  • Although this is a fifth season episode, Lips doesn't perform with the Electric Mayhem during the closing number.
  • In his introduction to the episode on video, Brian Henson states that the "Scarborough Fair" production number was at the time the most complex staging of a sequence on the series.
  • This is the last Muppet Show episode to have the guest star perform the opening number.

Episode

Picture Description
511 cold open
Cold Open: Guest star Paul Simon arrives to find Pops working to fix the lever that works the trap door. Paul tries the lever, causing Pops to fall through the trap door.

Paul: "I love it, but of course, I know fifty ways to love your lever."

511 trumpet
"The Muppet Show Theme": Gonzo's trumpet sounds like a duck. A duck shows up to kiss Gonzo: "Kissy, kissy!"
511 paul scooter

511 scarborough fair
Kermit the Frog presents the show as an entire evening devoted to the music of Paul Simon.

Paul sings "Scarborough Fair" in a Renaissance-flavored number, complete with maypole dancing and lute players. Miss Piggy chimes in to sing "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme."

Near the end, Fozzie Bear arrives selling pies and reciting Simple Simon. Paul requests a custard pie to go. When Fozzie asks, "To go where?" Paul hits him in the face with the pie. Paul is then arrested by Link Hogthrob, as the Sheriff of Nottingham, for playing a lute without a lisence.

511 stilts 1

511 gonzo song 1
The guy on the stilts hits his head on a rafter above, and falls to the floor with a crash.

Gonzo tells Kermit that Paul Simon is the type of performer he'd like to be.

Kermit: "Well, he comes from a different area of show business."

Gonzo: "He's so entertaining!"

Kermit: "Exactly."

Gonzo decides to take up song-writing, even demonstrating one of his songs... which Kermit brings to an abrupt end.

511 50 ways
Floyd and Janice sing "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" with Animal and Rizzo the Rat backing them up.
511 long day 1

511 long day 2
Guest Star's Dressing Room: Pops asks Paul to sing "Long Long Day". Paul points out that it isn't on the schedule. Pops protests, noting what a beautiful song it is. Paul agrees, because he's never been one for schedules. The other Muppets join Pops to listen in.
511 vets hospital 1

511 vets hospital 2
UK Spot:Veterinarian's Hospital: Dr. Bob is still in shock from what happened to his last patient: He cured him! An even bigger shock lies on the hospital bed and its the Great Gonzo.

Gonzo offers to donate his body to science. Dr. Bob reccomends science-fiction.

Dr. Bob: "I am going to remove one of the patient's vital organs a great many times whilst mentioning a Paul Simon song."

Gonzo: "Terrific! What's it called?"

Dr. Bob: "50 Ways to Leave Your Liver."

511 s and w goat
UK Spot (continued): A shivering Statler calls for Waldorf to bring him his coat. Instead, he receives a goat.
511 news
UK Spot (continued): Muppet News Flash: The Newsman announces all library fines will be forgiven if overdue books are returned to the station in three seconds.
511 for you
Guest Star's Dressing Room: Gonzo sings his latest song, "For You", for Paul: "For youuu... I'd wash my hair with stinky glue, I'd fry my legs and eat them too, I'd put a spider in my shoe -- for yoouuuu!" Paul agrees to never play the guitar he holds again unless playing one of Gonzo's songs. He then proceeds to destroy the guitar.
511 backstage

511 stilts 2
Kermit calls for Gonzo, hoping he won't sing but, rather, perform the act he rehearsed: An underwater heart operation on himself. Gonzo refuses, claiming that the last time he did it, he died.

Kermit: "Gonzo, I'm telling you flatly, you can't sing!"

Gonzo: "Oh, I can sing flatly."

Gonzo offers to do a Paul Simon song and Kermit agrees to introduce him.

In the background, the stiltwalker runs into a doorway and falls backward over the railing. He leaps to his feet, seemingly unharmed. Gonzo commends him, slapping one of the stilts, and knocking the man to the ground.

511 gonzo song 2

511 paul bo
Kermit introduces Gonzo's song as something for the "music haters." Gonzo and the chickens sing "El Condor Pasa". Paul interrupts the number, claiming Gonzo is singing the wrong words.

Gonzo: "You write 'em your way, I'll write 'em mine!"

Paul gets even with Gonzo by stealing the chickens away.

511 baby driver
Bobby Benson and his Baby Band sing the song that poses the question, "Is it a good idea to let a 12-month old baby drive on the freeway while playing a ukulele?", "Baby Driver".
511 stilts 3

511 hold onto your collar

511 asparagus eggs
The bandaged stiltwalker receives a boomerang fish to the head, courtesy of Lew Zealand, that sends him tumbling backward.

Gonzo, deciding that chickens are far too fickle, decides to replace them with a new obsession: Asparagus! "Your average asparagus is much more loayal than even the finest chicken." Gonzo even has a nest full of asparagus eggs waiting to hatch, until Kermit informs him that asparagus do not come from eggs... or so he thought.

511 love me like a rock
Paul sings "Loves Me Like a Rock", backed by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem and the Female Singers.
511 closing
At the closing, five chickens crowd around Paul. Kermit points out that he looks a little "henpecked." In an effort to get rid of the chickens, Paul calls out, "Five chicken dinners to go," adding a side order of asparagus when the baby asparagus show up.

Edits

  • Nickelodeon: "Vet's Hospital" was cut, as was Muppet News and the second backstage sequence.

Cast

Muppets:

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Link Hogthrob, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Animal, Pops, The Newsman, Bobby Benson, Fortune Teller, Baby Band, Lew Zealand, Beauregard, Baby Asparagus, Chickens, Pig, Goat, Whatnots

Background Muppets:

Scooter, Rizzo the Rat, Zoot, Dr. Teeth, Ronald Duck, Sheep

Performers

Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Waldorf, Rowlf, Link Hogthrob, and the Newsman
Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and Animal
Dave Goelz as Gonzo and Beauregard
Jerry Nelson as Pops, Floyd Pepper, Camilla, Fortune Teller, and the Announcer
Richard Hunt as Janice, Bobby Benson, and Statler
Steve Whitmire as Rizzo the Rat and Female Singer
Kathy Mullen as Baby and Female Singer
Louise Gold as Baby Asparagus and Female Singer


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